Maternal and fetal outcome after colectomy for fulminant ulcerative colitis during pregnancy: Case series and literature review

Eric J. Dozois, Bruce G. Wolff, William J. Tremaine, William J. Watson, Ernesto R. Drelichman, Peter W.G. Carne, Julie L. Bakken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Previous studies have reported high morbidity and mortality in mothers and their offspring after colectomy for ulcerative colitis during pregnancy. This study was designed to assess the maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnant females undergoing colectomy for ulcerative colitis in the current era. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed at our institution of all pregnant females undergoing operation for ulcerative colitis between 1980 and 2004. To compare this data to that of past literature, a MEDLINE search from 1951 to 2004 reviewed all cases reported on this topic. RESULTS: Between 1980 and 2004, five females underwent an operation at our institution for fulminant ulcerative colitis while pregnant. All five patients underwent subtotal colectomy with Brooke ileostomy. Postoperative maternal morbidity included a superficial wound infection and a small asymptomatic intra-abdominal abscess. All females had successful pregnancies, and no maternal or fetal deaths occurred. Two patients went on to have an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, one had a completion proctectomy and end ileostomy, oneis scheduled for an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, andone patient is lost to follow-up. The literature review revealed 37 cases. The overall fetal and maternal mortality was 49 and 22 percent respectively. Postoperative maternal morbidity was reported in 24 percent. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to historic data, the maternal and fetal mortality from our series was zero and maternal morbidity was low. Subtotal colectomy and Brooke ileostomy for ulcerative colitis during pregnancy is safe. A multidisciplinary team that includes a gastroenterologist, high-risk obstetrician, and experienced surgeon is necessary for an optimal outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Colectomy
  • Fulminant ulcerative colitis
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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